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Dinner on Mount Pleasant or Bayview

I have the responsibility of arranging a dinner for four this Saturday and I thought I would try a restaurant on Mount Pleasant or Bayview south of Eglinton. I have been to Celestin and do not wish to return. What are the best places? A broad range of cuisine, including fish, would be best.

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  1. I like Smalltalk on Bayview, though it is inconsistent. At a higher price point, you could try Jov.

    On Mt Pleasant, I'm not familiar with the current incarnations of most places, but you might be happy with Zee Grill.

    1 Reply
    1. re: embee

      I second the rec for Zee Grill. Really excellent seafood restaurant with a nice atmosphere.

    2. Jov gets good reviews, I have never been there personally.

      Otherwise, the Bayview strip is generally good for casual, lower price point dinners. I eat regularly at Fiesta Azteca (Mexican), Satay on the Road, and Fukui Sushi. Lemongrass is good, I haven't been to Riz or newly opened EAST on Bayview, all of those are Asian-themed. Verdi on Bayview is nice for Italian, one waiter there is a bit snooty and I find some food oily and sometimes hit & miss, but it is OK. I haven't been to the other new place (is it Riviera?) near Manor Road. Haven't been back to Small Talk since having their scrambled eggs with olives that tasted like pizza. For non-ethnic dinner chow on Bavyiew, your other options are Originals (bar-style Tex Mex, OK but not thrilling) or pub grub at McSorleys.

      It sounds like you need to go to Mount Pleasant for what you want. Price point may determine where you go. I've heard good things about Zee Grill on this board but haven't been there.

      My recommendation would be to go to Lolo. It is a nice choice for a group (held a group anniversay dinner there recently), because they have a wide variety of choices including fish (I had salmon there, and it was nice; steak frites was also tasty; they have pastas, etc.) and the price point is reasonable, the service was good. The food at Lolo is not especially unusual or unique, but it is well prepared and usually everyone can find something they like. Setting also appeals to a wide range - it is classy but not stuffy, you could wear a suit or jeans and either would seem fine. Do make a reservation, since the space is not large.

      Across the Road is also a nice spot with a varied menu - I haven't been there in a few years but I enjoyed eating there.

      If Chinese food is OK with you and also a higher price point, try Lai Toh Heen for a wide range of dishes including fish. The also often have special dinner prix fixe menus - you'd have to stop by to check it out since they don't have a website up yet.

      Positano on Mt. Pleasant is nice for Italian food, I don't know if they serve fish.

      In terms of very casual, there is pub grub at The Longest Yard, and of course Penrose Fish & Chips but there the range of "cuisine" is not wide at all.

      1. Why don't you want to go back to Celestin? I'm curious because it's on my list; I just haven't gotten there for dinner yet...

        5 Replies
        1. re: spigot

          Actually I'm curious too. I've been to Celestin a few times and very much liked it. Did you have a bad experience?

          1. re: balthazar

            Actually, the problem with Celestin for me was not the food, it was the attitude. From the requirement for a credit card number when I made the reservation, which has now become more common but was a first for me when I made the reservation, to the somewhat frosty welcome when we arrived to a server with the proverbial "pickle" you know where, the experience had a negative start. This was a few years ago and maybe it deserves another chance, but first impressions are important and there are many other good restaurants in this City where I have been made to feel more welcome.

            1. re: Attknee

              Oh, interesting. I have only been there the last year and found the service friendly. Might be worth a try back there - if you go, try it on a normal night and not during the 'licious festivals. (I did go once during a 'licious event and it was fine, but to be safe...)

              1. re: Attknee

                Thanks for replying, Attknee. I've felt that way too - warmth for sure goes a long way to making my experience a positive one. Pony, Scaramouche -even that slightly nutty blonde lady at Bandito's- I like friendliness :-)

                1. re: Attknee

                  Perhaps you went during a summer/winterlicious event. If you can afford it go again! You'll love it!

            2. I had a really nice dinner at Camerini's on Mount Pleasant a few months ago. Very small restaurant and everything tasted homemade. If you go I recommend the grilled calamari. It was the highlight of the evening. Also found the place very reasonably priced. Dinner for 4 with 2 apps was $100, none of us drank wine, so I don't know what the wine list was like.

              2 Replies
              1. re: camp1980

                I think I was the first to post here re: Camerini's. Their complimentary bruschetta, grilled calamari and huge homemade pastas have made it a favourite for my wife and I. Also, it is a family-run restaurant with real heart and soul.

                1. re: bogie

                  I was at Camarinin a few years ago and had a terrible experience. The waiter was rude and when my credit card bill came, they had charged my card three days in a row.

                1. re: kawarthagirl

                  I'd 3rd Zee Grill.
                  Allo Bistro was also quite good the last time I visited.

                  1. re: spaetzle

                    We had a horrendously mediocre experience at Allo Bistro...twice! But Zee Grill, the last three visits, has been excellent - planning to go again in a few weeks...

                    1. re: kawarthagirl

                      Allo is gone now- sorry. Turned into a thai place. :(

                2. My standard is Cafe Pleiades on Mount Pleasant. This is a neighbourhood "continental" place which is probably 80% repeat customers - everybody seems to know the chef and server by name.
                  Good food, great value, reasonable prices.

                  1. Try JOV Bistro on Bayview; Masayuki Tamaru is a great chef!

                    Try Lai Toh Heen on Mt Pleasant; high end chinese.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sloweater

                      If you'd go over to Yonge in that same strip you've got better choices, imho- Zucca, Quince, Mirabelle (for drinks probably)...Tabule is not high end but is pretty good; however, it doesn't really fit what you're looking for. Zucca and Quince generally both do whole fish.

                      1. re: nummanumma

                        I second nummanumma re: Zucca or Quince on Yonge. Quince is the newest in the area and all the meals I have had there have been excellent. Its a great space, also, with a nice vibe. Fantastic price point too. You can dine really well without spending too much. And they have a nice selection of wines by both the glass and the half glass so you can do some creative wine pairing with several courses if you wish. Highly recommended!

                    2. Make that six votes for Zee Grill. It isn't just Italian places that are family run dontcha know? Husband chef, wife sommelier.

                      1. For Thai, Lemongrass is my favourite over both Satay on the Road and Riz. Their soups are to die for, really delicate flavours. Finish it off with a stroll up to Hollywood Gelato, of course!

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: downtown

                          What is with that Hollywood Gelato place?!? I can't believe people line up for gelato... Is it really that good?

                          1. re: kawarthagirl

                            Is it the best I have ever had? No. Is it the best in Toronto? Doubtful. Is it really really good? Yes. Is it worth standing in line for? Why not, what's your rush?

                            How's that?

                            1. re: downtown

                              I have to chime in and say that it's certainly one of the best in Toronto (I've haven't found any gelato that I like better). The flavours are really pure (in the sense that they taste like what they're named), the texture is great and it's not overly sweet. Yummy!

                              1. re: TorontoJo

                                TorontoJo, which other gelato places have you tried?

                                1. re: Full tummy

                                  Solefrino, Soma and La Paloma. Hollywood wins in my taste book. I did like the flavours at Soma, but the gelato was frozen too hard. Same experience at Solefrino. Didn't care for La Paloma (might have been due the hype prior to going).

                              2. re: downtown

                                It's not the best I've ever had, but it's certainly a contender for best in Toronto.

                            2. re: downtown

                              I've been to Lemongrass twice and each time I got attitude from the female server/hostess(Owner?). I would never go back.

                              As with other replies, I really enjoy the food at Zee Grill.

                              1. re: minto

                                I will give you that, the service at Lemongrass isn't exactly open-armed. Same for Riz. However, when the food is as good as it has been there, and at a reasonable price, I can forgive it enough to continue to go once in a while.

                            3. I go out all the time pretty to any restaurant I want. Lots of good ones in this area. For something different try thechefupstairs http://www.thechefupstairs.com/ . You can pick your own menu or advise on what you like and the chef David Rennie makes it for you. I went there with 9 friends and we had a private room and had a blast. Venison, foi gras, and a Sommelier pairing the wines. Everyone of the discerning group loved it. It is a bit more work planning the menu but a lot of fun if you are into that sort of thing.